Addressing the digital divide, and finding a path to make sure the whole world is connected, has become the number one priority for the development agenda. See some of the impactful work happening around the world, bringing internet access to the most remote rural villages. 


In emerging markets, access to mobile is rapidly outpacing access to basic services such as access to energy. To reach global goals such as SDG 7, universal energy for all, mobile technology is increasingly providing new solutions and unlocking new business models. In Uganda, as this video shows, the innovative partnership between Fenix and MTN Uganda is improving energy access for 700,000. Their mobile-enabled solar PAYG kit, ReadyPay, is bringing cleaner and affordable energy to families and businesses.

Digital literacy is becoming as important as traditional literacy. When girls and women have access to technology and digital training, they thrive. But when they are held back it can affect every aspect of their lives. This film, shot on location in Ethiopia by Plan International , follows the life of first-time actor and ICT student Kalkidan, 13, as she navigates technology opportunities at her school from two very different perspectives. More information here

This short video introduces the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities (M4D Utilities) programme outlining the role of mobile in increasing and improving access to essential utility services (please also see our Annual Report for more information). We spotlight some key actors who we have supported through the M4D Utilities Innovation Fund, including M-KOPA, Devergy, Wonderkid, Manobi, Sanergy and Loowatt. Mobile Network Operator Airtel also highlights the substantial benefits for MNOs who are working in the utilities space.

The GSMA has been working with three mobile operators in Tanzania to support the industry to expand commercially sustainable network coverage for mobile internet services to currently underserved rural populations. In 2017, the project launched the pilot phase of this first tri-party network infrastructure sharing initiative in Africa, implemented by Airtel, Tigo (Millicom) and Vodacom. The video highlights the challenges for operators in commissioning rural locations, as well as the rural communities experience of the internet and the wide array of economic, educational, and social advantages mobile broadband provides.

In today’s connected world, women have less access to technology than men, especially mobile. In low- and middle-income countries 184 million fewer women than men own mobile phones and over 1.2 billion women do not use mobile internet. Closing this gender gap represents a substantial commercial opportunity, and also makes women feel safer and more connected, as well as providing access to life-enhancing opportunities like education, health information, financial services and employment opportunities, often for the first time.